Flag Pins In Black And White

"The more I saw, the more I realized how my own personal movement was limited. And the North was only a hair better than the South. Up there the hatred and prejudice was a bit more subtle, the hypocrisy a little slicker. You could change the lyrics, but the was still the same everywhere you went.

Don't get me wrong: I never blamed all the white people in America. I didn't fault all of any one group. Lots of white cats were afraid if they served blacks at their lunch counters or let blacks use the bathrooms in their gas stations, they might lose their whole business. After all, there were actual laws on the books against integration of any kind..."

"...Then there were the pressures of their friends. If a white dude was nice to a black, his partner might scream at him, "You a nigger lover or something? Next thing you know your daughter will be fucking a coon!"

On the other hand, I understood that the big Supreme Court decisions which were changing the laws about segregated schools were being made by white judges.

Still, every day I began to see that we were just starting to talk about getting certain things -- freedom to go to school, to eat in a truck stop, to piss in a bathroom -- that should have been ours all along."

from "Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story"
by Ray Charles & David Ritz

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